Application for Talking Book Services
Want to become a Demonstration Site?
Getting Started with the Talking Book Program
National Library Service for the Blind & Physically Handicapped
The Talking Book Program is available to Texans with visual impairments, physical or reading (learning) disabilities that prevent them from using standard print. In order to receive our free services, you must fill out an application form and have it certified by a professional, such as a nurse, optometrist, teacher, librarian, doctor, or social worker. For this reason, you will not be able to submit the application via the Internet.
Please print out the Talking Book Program application, sign the agreement, fill in the information, and have the form signed by a professional ("certifying authority") who can certify that you meet one of the following criteria for service:
Qualified patrons include Texas residents of all ages who:
- are legally blind (vision in the better eye is 20/200 or less after correction, or the widest diameter of visual field is no greater than 20 degrees);
- have prescription glasses, yet are unable to read standard print material without additional magnification devices;
- have physical limitations that prevent them from holding books or turning pages; or
- have reading disabilities due to an organic dysfunction, as certified by a medical doctor (M.D. or D.O.).
The list of professionals who are authorized to sign the application form are listed on the last page of the form, which states:
"Certifying authority" is defined to include doctors of medicine and osteopathy, ophthalmologists, optometrists, registered nurses, therapists, professional staff of hospitals, institutions, and public or welfare agencies (e.g., social workers, case workers, counselors, vocational rehabilitation counselors, home teachers, and superintendents). In the absence of any of these, certification may be made by professional librarians. In the case of a Reading Disability, the certifying authority must be a doctor of medicine or osteopathy. Certifying authorities are not permitted to certify relatives.
Please note that only medical doctors or doctors of osteopathy may certify the application of a Texan with a reading (learning) disability, such as dyslexia or attention deficit disorder.
By law, the Talking Book Program gives priority service to veterans of the United States armed forces who have received honorable discharges from military service. Documentation that verifies a veteran's status, such as a copy of the DD-214 form, must be submitted with the application. For further information, please call 1-800-252-9605, or send an email inquiry to email@example.com with subject heading, "Veteran Status Verification."
The Talking Book Application forms are available in two electronic formats, PDF and RTF:
Click on these links if you have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to launch the Portable Document Format [pdf] version of the Talking Book Program application form. Please print out the form, sign application agreement, fill in the information requested, and have the application signed by an appropriate professional before mailing, emailing, or faxing it to the Talking Book Program (our address appears at the bottom of this page).
If you do not have the Adobe Acrobat reader installed on your computer, you must first download it and install it on your own computer before you can print out the PDF version of the Talking Book Program application.
Follow these links to download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader:
- Institutional Application [pdf]
- Institutional Application [rtf]
(for Nursing Homes, Hospitals, Assisted Living Facilities, etc.
- Demonstration Site Information and Application
- School Registration Application [read Classroom Guide]
After you have completed the application, and it has been signed by a professional to certify your eligibility, please mail it to:
Talking Book Program
Texas State Library & Archives Commission
PO Box 12927
Austin TX 78711-2927
or fax to: 512-936-0685 (fax)
or email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have questions or want to request a print copy of the application form(s), please contact us at:
1-800-252-9605 (in Texas)
512-463-5458 (in Austin)
We look forward to serving you.